A Touch of Creativity

Icy Adventure

Cold Shower

Some sort of ice cleats are a must when visiting waterfalls between the Winter and Springtime seasons in the South Dakota Black Hills, this is my favorite Wintertime shot of Spearfish Falls.

Seasonal Inspiration

This year has been hot. Normally by October we have a foot of snow in the Black Hills but this year it was 60 degrees F in December,  completely unheard of!

I love being outside with just a camera and my shadow, this warmth has given me so much time for my work. I saw rain in November, the birds were singing on Christmas and I have loved every minute of it!

New Years came and went and I even began to believe Fall would carry us to Spring, the cold would have to wait until next year. But then, as with all late bloomers Winter came in like a hurricane. The temperature dropped to subzero, the roads turned to snow and the sky turned to gray.

Just when you think you are through, life just has to hit you with that cold shower.

Toadstool Geologic Park

Striking Contrasts

I stumbled upon this new Badlands location and was rewarded when the glorious sunset painted a captivating Sky at Toadstool Geologic Park in Nebraska, near the South Dakota border.

Exploring the Nebraska Badlands

It was sometime around mid Autumn during a drive with my husband that we stumbled across Toadstool Geologic Park in the Nebraska Badlands which is near the South Dakota state line.

We did some hiking, explored and scoped out the area for some good compositions while  waiting for the sun to go down.  At first the sunset was uneventful and my hopes of snagging a spectacular sunset image were dashed.

At sunset it seemed as though the clouds were not in the right place along the horizon and I already had a fantastic composition set up so I felt it would be wise to wait a little longer.  

Immediately after the sun dipped below the horizon, from East to West the entire sky Exploded with color as I scrambled to get as many shots as I could, it was not a problem to find several compositions!

Yes it was most definitely worth the wait! 

Celestial Awe


I had no problem losing sleep to chase after Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE with my camera gear last Summer which resulted in snagging one of my all time favorite shots, a single exposure of Comet Neowise at Custer State Park in the Black Hills!

Once in a Lifetime Experience

2020 was a most extraordinary year for celestial events, July 17th however was the most amazing experience in all my years of photography! 

This particular night I was transfixed by the sight of Comet Neowise as it appeared to make its way, closer and closer, to the silhouetted rock formations reflected in the placid waters of Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park.

This particular shot was captured after 10:30 that night, the tranquil beauty and serene stillness of the warm summer night had me in a trance until well after midnight.  For this once in a lifetime event it was most definitely worth losing a little sleep!

Worth the Wait


My two hour wait was totally worth it on this gorgeous Spring day at this quaint and extraordinarily peaceful lake tucked into the Black Hills.

Quiet Solitude

I am never disappointed whenever I visit this placid little lake that is tucked away in a quiet location of the Black Hills. The hardest decision for me is finding the right composition and I particularly like pretty clouds at sunset and sunrise.

Therefore I opted for this view because the clouds were all going that direction and I knew they would look beautiful reflecting off the water. Looking back now I wish that I had kept my original composition but at least I can always go back and try again.

My young canine companion is still learning that she sometimes has to wait for a long time before we go somewhere else, at least she doesn't complain and she always finds some way to entertain herself although she can sometimes get herself into trouble.

Summertime at Crazy Horse

Flamboyant Display

An approaching thunderstorm gives this image an extra burst of color, at Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills.

Laser Light Show

On this particular night in June my husband and I took our niece and her family to Crazy Horse Memorial for the Laser Light show,  having seen it before I knew it would be a good time for all.

It had been an extremely warm day so thunderstorms were forming nearby and my niece's husband got a tornado warning on his phone, yet I was still hopeful that we would get to watch the entire show and maybe even snag some lightning shots on either side of Crazy Horse Mountain.

The laser light show was awesome and ended just moments before a strong thunderstorm was upon us. Thankfully my niece and I were able to capture some nice images of Crazy Horse but no such luck with the lightning photos.  Maybe next time!

Needle's Eye Goats


This impromptu shot of a pair of Mountain Goats took place inside the Needles Eye tunnel on Needles Hwy in Custer State Park.

Unexpected Delay

Last Fall I was driving on Needles Highway in Custer State Park. 

While hunting for a good spot to both view and shoot the sunset I arrived at the Needle's Eye Tunnel,  I was both astonished and amused to find a pair of Mountain Goats blocking the passage through the tunnel.

Several tourists had parked their vehicles and were standing around just capturing pictures and videos of the goats. 

I also pulled over and grabbed my camera out of its bag, quickly snagging several shots of the animals with their onlookers.

Such a fun, unexpected surprise to end my day in the Black Hills!

Woodland Adventure

Forest Vibes

In my opinion there is no better way to begin a day than in the forest, alone with only bird sounds and perhaps a whitetail fawn calling for its mother somewhere in the distance.

Waiting for that Special Light

I have been to this location so many times that I could tell the light from the sun sitting low over the horizon would create the gorgeous glow I had been waiting for, so I proceeded to change my camera settings and swap lenses.


Little did I know that while I was getting the camera ready my canine companions were having a joyful little splash in a dog ankle-deep puddle of extremely muddy,  smelly stagnant water.

Needless to say I was totally exhilarated to capture my long awaited image of this awesome forest trail illuminated by the gorgeous side light streaming through the trees.  

And of course the dogs were delighted to ride home with their muddied feet, windows all the way down for plenty of fresh air!

An Especially Beautiful Sunrise at the Lake

Bergamot Serenity

What a tranquil morning it was at this placid lake in the Black Hills where I found an amazing display of wild Bergamot, a prominent wildflower around here in the Summertime.

Purple Wildflowers

I especially love to go out exploring before sunrise during the Summer after there's been a rainstorm the previous evening.  The lakes usually have mist rising up from the water and there are often pockets of ground fog scattered throughout the forest.

While my canine companion and I were hiking around with our feet soaked from the saturated grasses surrounding the lake, we stumbled upon some clusters of wild Bergamot which is strikingly beautiful when the sun is low on the horizon and bathes it with golden highlights.

As usual my canine companion did her best to get in every shot I captured which is fine for my personal collection, still I managed to snag a couple of images without her and here is my favorite photo from that peaceful morning.  

Just Enjoying the View

Waiting for Sunrise

The Stratobowl Rim hiking trail takes me about 20 minutes to walk to the top although it might take me a little longer whenever I'm hauling my camera gear and tripod. 

It's a very popular hiking trail especially at sunrise and sunset, although not so much on frigid Winter days.

There are a plethora of beautiful wildflowers here in late Spring and throughout the Summer.

My canine companion absolutely loves to go on hikes and this is one of her favorite spots in particular because so many other dogs come here with their people.   Since we are normally on our way just before dawn, there are still plenty of deer in the woods on either side of the trail. 

The photo opportunities are abundant at this location and this Fall I look forward to watching and photographing the hot air balloons that lift off from the valley down below the rim, weather permitting.  In the meantime it's going to be so much fun exploring this area as much as possible!

Comments Welcome

  • BW Mathis

    on July 8, 2021

    Sounds like a great day!!!